Clayton Co. superintendent's family on county payroll - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Clayton Co. superintendent's family on county payroll

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -

Some Clayton County teachers are questioning why a metro Atlanta school superintendent's wife and children are on the county payroll.

Clayton County teachers have publicly expressed displeasure with pay freezes, skyrocketing health insurance and furlough days. The county is facing an estimated $40 million deficit over the next three years.

News that Superintendent Dr. Ed Heatley's family is on the county payroll has one teacher's union outraged.

"To me, it appears that Heatley apparently thinks that Clayton County public school system is the Heatley hacienda, where he has this massive hacienda, where he takes care of his family and the teachers are more like surfs, working on the hacienda," said Dr. John Trotter of the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE).

Heatley makes just over $238,000 in base pay, plus he gets another $25,000 in bonuses and a monthly car allowance of $800. He also receives a benefits package.

Heatley's wife Karen is a community/parent liaison at LoveJoy High school and makes almost $20 dollars an hour. His daughter Chelsie worked part-time last summer at $12.00 and his son Anthony Heatley, who is a rising high school senior, worked last summer and will work again this summer, making $10 an hour at two different sites.

MACE questions what Heatley's children were really doing.

"I call it one of those jobs ‘be gone.' Just be gone. You are going to be on the payroll. Just go somewhere. Act like you are working," said Trotter.

A district spokesperson said that the superintendent isn't violating the district's nepotism policy because he does not directly supervise his wife or children.

MACE doesn't buy that argument.

"The superintendent supervises everyone because the superintendent puts in charge those people who are going to do the supervising," Trotter said.

William Perry of the watchdog ethics group Common Cause Georgia says the arrangement just doesn't smell right.

"For teachers, or voters in the district or anyone else, it comes down to, ‘Does this make sense? Is it a good deal? Is it a good public policy decision?' And so you hope the best people are hired, not the family members of the best people that are known down there," said Perry.
   
FOX 5 tried to reach Heatley to talk about his family being on the payroll, but was told that the superintendent is in Pennsylvania on a work-related trip and was not available.

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